Dixie Majors Tournament big success

Published 10:13 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2015

By Derek Thompson
The Selma Times-Journal

Dixie Baseball assistant state director Charles Alexander said the Dixie Majors state tournament and Selma go together like a hand fits in a glove.

“It’s a really sports minded town,” said Alexander, who was honored for his 50 years of service to Dixie Baseball at the tournament July 10. “They really put a lot into their youth and their field crew is top notch.”

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The Queen City hosted the tournament for the sixth consecutive year this past weekend as the 17-19 year-old players competed for the state championship at Bloch Park.

Selma was the first team eliminated out of the tournament July 10 after a 14-2 loss to Opp. Steele City took the crown after defeating Tuscaloosa in the championship game Sunday. With the win, Steele City advanced to the World Series, which will be in Ozark on Aug. 24.

The facilities at historic Bloch Park are one of the main reasons the city accommodates the tournament every year and Dixie Baseball wants to continue holding it there for many years to come.

“They’ve got good facilities,” Alexander said. “It’s a good place to have a tournament. As long as they want us down there that’s where we will have it. We’re going to be going back to Selma every year until we feel like we need to make other arrangements.”

Lebo Jones, interim director of the Selma Recreation Department, said he heard numerous people at the tournament this year compliment the new center field wall that was unveiled Thursday night at Bloch Park in honor of former Selma recreation director Elton Reece.

The 14-foot-tall fence replaced one that sat in center field for years before being blown down during a hurricane over a decade ago. The wall earned the nickname the “Green Monster” for its resemblance to a wall that sits in left field at Boston’s Fenway Park.

“Selma has always been a baseball city,” Jones said. “People love to come and play here with our historical Bloch Park. All the Dixie Majors officials love coming here and enjoying our people and being in the area.”

Only two teams, Ozark and Steele City, stayed in hotels in Selma during the tournament. The other three teams in the field drove to the park each day, Jones said.

Dixie Majors is usually one of the least attended age groups in Dixie Baseball but Jones said the turnout was good.

“We just enjoy the people in Dixie Majors Baseball and the fans that come,” Jones said. “It was beneficial to the city because everybody ate at our restaurants and stayed in our hotels and just enjoyed being in our beautiful city.”